Second arrest in desperate search to locate missing Maelys

Friday sees French police announcing the arrest of a second man in connection with the disappearance of nine year old Maelys de Araújo , the daughter of a Portuguese father and French mother, from a wedding reception six days ago (click here).

This second suspect is 34 years old, reports Le Figaro newspaper, suggesting he was arrested this morning.

Today has already seen police widen the search area – to include “fields and roadsides” around the reception venue where Maelys was last seen by her parents – and extend the arrest of the first man taken into custody yesterday.

The first man is described as “close to Maelys’ father” and someone known for previous common law offences.

Yesterday his age was given as 24, but today it too appears to have been updated to 34.

His arrest followed painstaking cross-referencing of the multiple statements taken after the child’s disappearance which highlighted inconsistencies in the account of his movements.

Says Correio da Manhã today, the man said he had not left the wedding reception – but he was seen leaving “at precisely the hour that the alert of Maelys disappearance went out”.

The man’s mobile phone was also disconnected at this crucial time.

CM meantime has said authorities have discovered a number of “friends and relatives” at the wedding reception have been found to possess criminal records for sexual offences.

AFP news agency has described “a cuddly toy” discarded in the reception car park which has powered the theory that Maelys was kidnapped and taken away in a car.

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